Friday, April 18, 2014

The Longest War by; Peter L. Bergen

The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda This is another outstanding, well researched behind the scene’s report on the underlining circumstances regarding this disastrous conflict that has endured for 13 years with no end in sight. Thousands of Americans killed or wounded and hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis killed or wounded plus the expenditure of over one Trillion Dollars. It starts with the fact that there were all kinds of warnings that Al-Qaeda was planning an attack on America. President Bush’s support staff was clueless with the exception of counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, CIA Director George Tenet and his Deputy John McLaughlin. I am referring to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. I cannot, nor will I ever forgive the irresponsibility of these “leaders” who allowed the destruction of the twin towers and then showed how tough they were by turning our Armed Forces loose to attack, not only Afghanistan but also Iraq. The latter country had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. It was pure and simple an excuse to overthrow Saddam Hussein for his attempt years before to assassinate his father and also because President Bush wanted to control the oil resources possessed by Iraq. This last sentence reflects my personal thoughts not the author’s. Most of the book revolves around the growth of Al-Qaeda under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. Thousands rallied to his cause including many willing to sacrifice their lives as suicide bombers for the goal of extending the reach of the Taliban and changing all nations to Sharia Law as they interpreted the will of the Prophet Mohammad. It follows the transfer of our soldiers to Iraq which allowed the Taliban to rebuild in Afghanistan to the extent that when Obama became President he had to send a surge of 30,000 troops to regain control of Afghanistan. As Senator, Obama had been critical of Bush’s surge in Iraq. Doing this was a bitter pill for him to swallow. It examines the frustrating situation of Pakistan becoming a safe haven for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It ends with the death of bin Laden, except as you should know, there is no end in sight. This conflict can never be won with troops. The only sensible recourse, in my opinion is to withdraw completely from this part of the world and let them sort it out. It is their problem, not ours. This book is worth reading by Congress and our people. Jack B. Walters March 10, 2014

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